Humphreys College At A Glance
Established in 1896, Humphreys College was the first institution of higher education to locate in the Stockton area. Humphreys College has a branch campus in Modesto, 24 miles to the south. Throughout its long history, Humphreys College has maintained a commitment to provide quality career-oriented education grounded in the liberal arts. Humphreys College has experienced notable growth over the last four years. Starting with a fall 2008 enrollment of 750 students, Humphreys College’s 2009-2014 strategic plan set an enrollment goal of 900 by 2014. This goal was surpassed in the first year of the plan, and enrollment continued to grow to a peak of 1,200 in fall 2011. Since that time, enrollment has settled down and now rests at 1,050 in fall 2012. Humphreys College expects enrollment eventually to rest around 900 students in the coming few years.
The years of increase in enrollment were partly the result of planned growth in new and existing programs; it was also a result of high unemployment rates in the Stockton area. As is the case with college enrollment in general, Humphreys College’s enrollment is somewhat linked to the local unemployment rate (depicted in the graph to the left) and typically lags a few terms behind unemployment.
Undergraduate students who enter and continue at Humphreys College learn in the context of eight undergraduate majors: Accounting, Early Childhood Education, Criminal Justice, Business Administration, Court Reporting, Community Studies, Legal Studies, and Liberal Studies. Each of these majors offers bachelor degrees, most offer associate degrees, and a couple offer specialized certificate programs. The undergraduate programs account for 80% of Humphreys College’s enrollment. In its current strategic plan, Humphreys College set a goal to develop a graduate culture and now offers three graduate programs. The Laurence Drivon School of Law offers the juris doctorate and accounts for 13% of Humphreys College’s enrollment. The Master of Arts in Education and the new teacher credentialing program account for 7% of Humphreys College’s enrollment.
Humphreys College’s programs attract a wide variety of students. A typical student is female, minority, low income, working, and enrolling part time. Women comprise 80% of the student body. As shown in the following table, 69% of students are minorities. The ethnic diversity of the student body mirrors that of the surrounding area. The average student household income is $19,000, which is in the 18th percentile nationally.
The student body, as currently constituted, is non-traditional and requires a unique approach to ensure satisfaction. In order to gather data to improve student experience and learning, Humphreys College participates annually in the National Survey of Student Engagement, which provides the results of approximately 200 questions and compares them to the results of other colleges. The last question of the survey asks: “If you could start over again, would you go to the same institution you are now attending?” Humphreys College’s students answer this question so positively each year that the results are statistically much higher than the composite score of the 125 other similar colleges.
The students appreciate what Humphreys College provides – career-oriented education that is grounded in the liberal arts, delivered mostly during evening courses, taught by a predominantly practitioner faculty, and is supported by student services that keep them focused on learning.
The most recent undergraduate first-year retention rate (2011 cohort) is 72% (includes all degree and certificate students). The three-year average undergraduate first-year retention rate at Humphreys College is 69%. For its undergraduate comparative retention benchmark, Humphreys College combines the first-year retention rates for private, open-admission two- and four-year colleges reported by ACT. For 2012, the comparative rate is 55%. Even if the higher four-year rate of 62% were used as the comparative rate, Humphreys College’s undergraduate first-year retention rate is well above its benchmark.
Humphreys College’s 2011 cohort retention rate for its bachelor degree is 78% and compares favorably with the 80% rate of CSU Sacramento and the 82% rate of CSU Stanislaus. Humphreys College’s graduate-program (law and education) first-year retention rate of 85% is above the comparative 75% benchmark that is calculated in a fashion similar to the undergraduate comparison rate. Two years ago, Humphreys College’s graduate retention rate was a little below the comparative rate.
Because many of its students earn an associate degree on their way to earning a bachelor’s degree and because the number of bachelor’s degree students is double that of associate degree students, Humphreys College focuses its undergraduate graduation rate analysis at the bachelor’s level. Humphreys College currently benchmarks against ACT data for four-year and six-year rates.
Humphreys College’s four-year graduation rate for the bachelor’s degree level is 34%. The ACT rate for other open-admission, private, bachelor’s institutions is 35%. Humphreys College’s six-year graduation rate is 49%, and the ACT rate is 41%. Thus, Humphreys College meets the benchmark for the four-year stage and exceeds the benchmark for the six-year stage. The difficulty with these comparisons is that ACT is not entirely clear about the definition of the cohort. Because of its small cohorts, Humphreys College includes both first-time and transfer students in the above numbers in order to achieve some stability. However, more-direct comparisons can be made.
According to its web site, “CSU Stanislaus was selected by the Association of State Colleges and Universities to be one of twelve national study campuses for excellence in graduation rates” (http://www.csustan.edu/StudentSuccessCommittee/Pages/GraduationRatesStudyCampus.html). CSU Stanislaus is geographically the closest CSU campus to Humphreys College. Its main campus is south of Humphreys College’s Modesto campus; additionally, CSU Stanislaus has a branch campus in Stockton. For its bachelor-seeking 2007 full-time/first-time cohort, CSU Stanislaus reports a four-year graduation rate of 18% and a six-year rate of 49%. The Humphreys College rates for the same cohort (but includes part-time students) are 33% and 44%, respectively. It should be noted that the Humphreys cohort size is only 18. To compare more-stable numbers, Humphreys College’s four-year cumulative fall cohort from 2000-2007 is 21% and the six-year rate is 44% (with a total cohort size of 57). Compared to a more selective, much larger, public university, Humphreys College exceeds the benchmark for the four-year stage and is a little below the benchmark for the six-year stage.
By most measures, Humphreys College’s graduation rate compares very favorably. Humphreys College is in a good position to help students graduate because Humphreys College offers niche programs and is committed to offering an appropriate number of the right types of courses at convenient times for its students. Additionally, the level of service provided by administrative staff is unsurpassed. Further, students at Humphreys College appreciate the welcoming atmosphere in the faculty office areas, where students are free to stop in and talk with their professors about class work, completing their academic plans, and identifying options for meaningful careers.
Because the MA in Education is a relatively new program, graduation rates have not yet been calculated. The law program has a graduation rate of 71% for its most-recently completed cohort (2007), which continues a four-year trend of increasing graduation rates, as indicated in the graph to the right.
Each year the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) asks students at hundreds of colleges and universities to reflect on the time they devote to various learning activities. The sections below present information about Humphreys College based on the NSSE results. Note: FY= First-Year student SR=Senior student
To what degree is studying and spending time on academic work emphasized?
92% of FY students feel that this institution places substantial emphasis on academics.
Do faculty hold students to high standards?
72% of FY students frequently work harder than they thought they could to meet faculty expectations.
How much time do students spend on homework each week?
33% of FY students spend more than 15 hours per week preparing for class. 15% spend 5 hours or less.
What types of thinking do assignments require?
First-year students report substantial emphasis on the following activities:
Memorizing facts, ideas, or methods: 65%
Analyzing basic elements of an idea or theory: 81%
Synthesizing and organizing ideas: 74%
Making judgments about value of information: 67%
Applying theories or concepts: 75%
How much writing is expected?
13% of FY students write more than 10 papers between 5 and 19 pages and 28% have written a paper more than 20 pages in length.
How much reading is expected during the school year?
41% of FY students read more than 10 assigned books and packs of course readings. 39% read fewer than 5.
Do exams require students to do their best work?
67% of FY students report that their exams strongly challenge them to do their best work.
How often are topics from class discussed outside of the classroom?
67% of FY students frequently discuss readings or ideas from coursework outside of class.
Do students work together on projects – inside and outside of class?
46% of FY students frequently work with other students on projects in class, 18% work with peers on assignments outside of class.
How often do students make class presentations?
38% of FY students report that they make frequent presentations in class.
Are faculty members accessible and supportive?
83% of FY students say their faculty members are available, helpful and sympathetic.
Do students receive prompt feedback on academic performance?
76% of FY students indicate that they frequently get prompt verbal or written feedback from faculty members.
How often do students talk with advisors or faculty members about their career plans?
93% of seniors at least occasionally discuss career plans with faculty. 7% never talk with faculty members about career plans.
Do students and faculty members work together on committees and projects outside of course work?
22% of FY students at least occasionally spend time with faculty members on activities other than coursework.
Enriching Educational Experiences
How often do students interact with peers with different social, political, or religious views?
47% of FY students say they frequently have serious conversations with students who are different from themselves in terms of their religious, political, or personal beliefs.
How often do students interact with peers from different racial or ethnic backgrounds?
54% of FY students frequently have serious conversations with those of a different race.
Do students participate in activities that enhance their spirituality?
37% of FY students frequently engage in spiritually enhancing activities such as worship, meditation, or prayer outside of the college.
Supportive Campus Environment
How well do students get along with other students?
67% of FY students report that their peers are friendly, supportive, and help them feel as if they belong.
Are students satisfied with their overall educational experience?
96% of FY students report a favorable image of this institution; 89% of seniors would choose this school again if they could start their college career over.
How well do students get along with administrators and staff?
70% of FY students find the administrative personnel and offices helpful, considerate, and flexible.
To what extent does the school help students deal with their academic and social needs?
91% of FY students feel that this institution has a substantial commitment to their academic success.
47% feel well-supported by the institution regarding their social needs.